National Harbor – A Real Gem for Washington DC! Response Blog #1

Developer of National Harbor Milton Peterson with

National Harbor, the massive $2 billion development on the Potomac, is a real boom to tourism and the economy of Maryland, as well as the surrounding Washington D.C. area.  Located about a mile from the District of Columbia, this 300 acre development with shops, restaurants, hotels, offices, condominiums and convention center, has not always received high marks from local citizens.

Take Liz’s Rialto Blog from March 3, well researched and humorous, after a winter time visit, she calls National Harbor “contrived and creepy.”

National Harbor may be a little contrived as these developments often are but it can be fun for locals if you know where to go.  How can you find fault with a development that has received the Disney stamp of approval?

When it was announced last May that Walt Disney Co. had bought a 15 acre parcel at the development to build a 500 room resort, the Washington Post called it a “a shot in the arm to National Harbor”

“The addition of Disney as a partner to the National Harbor mix validates and fulfills the shared vision that we will be a world-class waterfront destination resort,” said Milton V. Peterson, chairman of Peterson Cos., who has staked hundreds of millions of dollars on the harbor venture.

Local television reports such as NBC4 applauded the announcement  

In January 2010, the Wyndham Vacation Resorts opened a time-share development at National Harbor and says it has already sold 77 percent of its ownership stakes.

Washington City Paper’s “2010 Best of DC” says the best reason to visit National Harbor is Bobby McKey’s dueling piano bars. 

Another must see is the18 story l.65-acre multi-level atrium with great views of the Potomac River.

One of the fun ways to enter National Harbor is to take the water taxi ride from the Alexandria waterfront.  You can enjoy dinner, or shopping or take in one of the concerts or festivals. 

What about all of the water activities offered on the recreation pier about six months out of the year including bass fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaks and hobie cats.

Seasonal water taxi rides provide transportation to the National Baseball games, Mt. Vernon and Georgetown. 

Art lovers are in for a treat. The Awakening, a sculpture by J. Seward Johnson resembling a giant man coming out of the ground, was moved in the summer of 2008 from its original location at Hains Point in Washington DC to the National Harbor .

The two-year-old National Harbor is a work in progress.  Just take the bus or water taxi to avoid the parking meters.

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